Eventually I could afford a new bike again and chose a Kawasaki Z650. A very good bike and one I found more manageable and more comfortable than the Kawasaki 900, although it did suffer from a slight head gasket oil leak which the dealer attempted to fix twice. It still leaked after this, but the dealer was awaiting more information from Kawasaki. Meanwhile my right trouser leg kept wearing a thin coat of oil. Unfortunately pillions didn't agree with my opinion of comfort and several complained about the hard ridge under the seat where the tailpiece tucked in.
Soon the Z650 was wearing panniers so I could carry luggage and a screen for touring in cold weather.
Soon friends were saying, "Why don't you buy a touring bike?"
For a long time I had admired BMWs. They were fairly rare at that time in NZ and new ones were expensive. I asked my dealer if he could locate a good second-hand item. He soon found me an R90S, but it had been repainted in a non standard colour and it didn't seem very nice to ride. I turned it down.
"I'll take you to see Hans," said my dealer. I had ocassionally seen Hans whispering by on his R60/6, but I hadn't met him. Hans informed me I had just ridden the worst example of an R90S in NZ, but he knew where there was an R60/6 for sale. I contacted the owner and he accepted a deposit to hold it for me while I sold the Z650. But things don't always go smoothly.....I had an accident on the Kawasaki.
A few months later all was repaired, I had a buyer and the BMW was mine.
The BMW was just magnificent. Although not as fast as the Z650, it's torquey engine and it's ease of handling had me covering distances in the same time as it took me on the Kawasaki. It's lower revving engine made everything feel quite effortless.
This was in the mid 1970s and although Hans is almost 20 years my senior, we have been very good friends ever since. The green R60/6 which he owned at that time now resides in Southwards Car Museum on the Kapiti Coast of NZs North Island
This R60/6 came with a New Zealand made replica of the R90S fairing with a blade section made from a flat piece of tinted perspex curved around to fit. This kept the wind off my chest, but caused a lot of buffeting around my helmet, so I got an R90S replica double curvature blade from Australia...
.............as can be seen in this last picture. This improved the buffeting problem and also looked a lot better. I also added a black pin-stripe to the fairing to match the tank and mudguards.